Sunday, September 30, 2012

5 years

Nowhere, now here, nowhere.  LIVE in the parenthesis.  
Let go of lies.

This.... in 5 years

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ride the Cowabunga.

I left work early yesterday in order to watch a Cyclocross race called 'Midnight cross' purported as the 'Ash Wednesday' for the 'Holy Grail' of USA Cyclocross racing happening over the next 10 days around here in Gloucester, MA and Providence, RI.

I've gone to watch Gloucester and Providence for the past 10 yrs.  I'm a casual but active fan and these races sort of help me welcome in the Fall.  They're a bit Carni overall but it's bike racing which is good and there's beer tent which on October Fest scale is maybe a 5 out of 10 but its better than nothing and I like watching the top racers do their thing much better if I'm tilting back with a Blonde Belgian...Ale :)

Cross racing isn't my thing though and frankly last nights race was kind of a let down.  As the 'Ash Wednesday' for the 'Holy Grail' it was another indication that the Church is in trouble.  No one was there....aside from racers, I mean.  I can honestly say that I was one of maybe 3 other people there just to watch (meaning without a relative or partner actually participating in the race).  It was lame, frankly.  Yeah it's a Wednesday night and all but compare this with any top level bike race/tour which always happen on a work days but still draw meaningful attention?  The Pro/elite race last night only had maybe 50 guys in it and maybe....maybe.... 2 or 3 'pure' spectators.

I left the race thinking I might skip going  up to watch Gloucester all together this weekend.  I go every year and it'll be about the same as previous years (good fun), but it's also homecoming weekend for UMaine and a bunch of my team-mates have reached out to try and lure me up to Orono.

Tune reminds me of UMaine days

We're playing arch rival UNew Hampshire, which is always special.  The tailgate is great and Alum parties after get crazy.  So I'm on the fence?'s a long drive?  Regardless of whether I go to Orono or  Gloucester, I wish I had just stayed at work last night.  It's going well.  I'm really focused and totally enjoying it.  I literally struggled with the decision to leave last night at 5:30.  These days I stay until 7:30-8:00 and it still feels like there is lots to do.  We've had a great response lately and the surge of the last month or so is starting to reveal good things.

This marketing piece went out earlier this week and yielded 3 or possibly 4 new appointments to join our company, which is new ground for things look good.  Attitude & fortitude are the separators.  And our small but talented team intend to build this wave higher, deeper and longer.... and ride the Cowabunga all the way into shore..... have a great day!    Peace and roll strong.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jamestown Road Race & microcosm ahead

I have one road race left in 2012 in Jamestown, RI.  Jamestown is an Island right across the Narragansett Bay from Newport, RI.  The race is Oct. 8th on Columbus Day, and it's one of my favorite races just because the course is so gorgeous.  You ride 2 loops around the entire island which is only 19 miles, so its a short race at 38 miles total, but still pretty awesome.  The coolest part is the sweeping bend around a picturesque lighthouse with spectacular views of converging Atlantic and Narragansett waters.  It's up high too, as lighthouses are, and its always windy, which provides an amazing view of autumns' white cap waves curtaining around other scenic small islands and harbors.  It's pretty special.    

 So...looking forward to that!   Here's a nice lit'l tune by Beach House, Myth. 


On other fronts, things at Andrew Mitchell &Co. continue to stay busy as we continue to grow and expand our platform.  We just enhanced all our agent sites with mobile conversions and set up direct accounting for disbursements.  Both are way ahead of what other companies in our industry are doing. (Believe it or not?)
I'm also moving in 4 weeks and dreading the logistics's.  While the move is just a few towns east of here it might as well be 1,000 miles.  You still have to pack up everything and unpack it as well.  All n all this move will be good for me.  A fresh change of scenery, much closer to work and in-town and out of the country&burbs.

I'm taking a Bonsai class soon too.  These little trees take a lot of care.  There are two ways to do Bonsai, I have decided.  But, I haven't decided which way I'm going.  The first is to do everything yourself which is plenty and risky.   The other way...I have determined, is what I am going to term "Bonsai Boarding School"...which is exactly what it sounds like.  Basically you send your tree off to the Nursery and let them take care of it, everything.  You pay them 'cheap' tuition ($20 per month) and you just bring your healthy and happy Bonsia home for holidays and special occassions.  Decisions, decisions.

Peace and roll strong.

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012 TD Mayors Cup Recap

So it was an awesome day.  The weather was perfect and the race was cool.  There were 85 guys registered for the Pro1 but it looked like less than that number when we lined up.   The race played out like what I would guess a typical NRC race is like?   A group of four went away from the gun and stayed away the whole race at 30 mph until United Health decided to bring them back in the closing laps and the race came down to a field sprint.

At the start w/ my Cat 1 nephew Pete Custer.  Pete came up from DC.  Good thing too because I forgot my racing kit and Pete gave me his extra one, so we wore his 'Bike Doctor' black & red together which was pretty cool.
Once I knew the break was gone, I rode tail gun comfortably the whole race figuring the things wouldn't really heat up until UH brought the move back and then I'd move up during the lull right after that.  And basically that's what I did.  I moved up into the to top third of the field in one lap and then moved up into the top ten with three laps to go.   Perfect.

I was in good position at that point and my legs felt fine but on the course's only technical turn (#3) I allowed myself to get pinched into the fence and lost 15 places, just like that.  I sprinted up the rise to make up the spots and got back into top 20 but it took me almost a full lap and then I got pinched in the same corner again....and from that point on I was red-lined & lost places the entire last lap.   I dropped from top twenty all the way down to 49th.   67 guys finished the race.  Luke Keogh won and capped off an amazing season.  Saturdays win should seal a very good contract for him in 2013.  

All in all it wasn't horrible for me.  Two mistakes did me in but this is the top racing level in the country and that's just the way it is.  The big 'take away' for me is that you have to race at this level often enough to really figure out position in the closing laps.  All good though.

On another good note;  one of my Continental Cafe Riding partners (Lucianno Pavan) won the screaming fast Cat 2 race.  He's been knocking on the door all year and this was a perfect end to his terrific season.

Luciano and I two weeks ago. Boston Continental Cafe Ride. (LuMo)
Oh yeah...Great ride Luch.
Peace and roll Strong.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baker in Fez

A photographer friend of mine took this picture in Morocco earlier this year.   Her name is Kate Cordsen.  We both grew up in Great Falls, VA at the same time.  She was a few years younger than I so I didn't know her well, but I would see her around all the time.  Her brother Peter was my friend and everyone knew her as Sloopy, her nickname.  

As happens so often with e-media these days, our paths crossed.  In our case it was about a year and a half ago through home town connections.   I'm glad too because I love Art and Kate has become a really super talented and accomplished photographer.  Her work is awesome and she posts it frequently so I get to check it out pretty often and it's very good.  She has a few exhibitions coming up in 2013, something out in Australian Vogue about now and other magazines, too.  

Back to Kate's picture.  I really like it.  There's a compelling story to it that drew me in.

Kate Cordsen,  Photographer.  New York, New York
It's story in reverse beginning with the trail of moving tobacco smoke drifting slowly above the mans hand, whose limp position is the first revealing of a discouraged and somber mood.  His slumping posture and turned body express a weakened soul.  Hollowed shoulder blades and insect thin legs tell the rest.   Here is a tired man, perhaps an unwell one as well, turning himself away from the world.  The only warmth, comfort and company he chooses is that of his cigarette.  And everything else in this picture... from the worn fringe on the cuff of the mans' sweater, to the slovenly sorted linens and accoutrements spread about without care, down to the of crumbling tile of the mosaic floor, all attest to a life of deep despondency.

It's a beautifully captured image of a real and all too frequent life.  A life that none of us would want for ourselves.  Sometimes Art helps us to see things outside of ourselves with such clarity that we find poignant inspiration.

Peace and roll strong.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preparation for TD Bank Mayor's Cup

I've never been a Pro bike racer but once in a while I like to prepare as if I were.  I like the process of channeling and rising to the occasion.  It's cool, if you can nail it.  But over the years I've learned that you don't always nail it.  For me one of the key's to having everything come together is a calm state of assertive focus and clarity defining framework around what I am about to face.

This week I've been preparing for the TD Bank Mayors Cup and it's been fun.  I've been thinking about my equipment and the tune-up workouts I'll do and preparing myself mentally for the effort without getting too jacked up over it.  However,  I'll be racing the Pro1 field and given my 50 years and the fact that I rarely race at this level anymore, it'll be a significant challenge for me.  Also, the fact is I've only done one other Pro1 race this year, which is nothing, so it's going to be tough.  But good.

I'm also a free agent, meaning I race without a team or alliances.  This can be an advantage in local Pro1-3 races because the teams aren't as strong and I also know almost everyone.  This Saturday's race will be different, it'll be stacked with the country's best Pro teams racing for their 'series title'; that I actually don't even know the name of, but I know it's their last one.... so it should be a ripper.

These guys also know each other really well.  They've been locking horns since March and are totally 'prepared to recognize' the dynamics of the race that will determine results.  Its a huge advantage for them. In fact it's their biggest advantage over guys like me that have to read the race on the fly and make uncertain decisions.  If I'm good on Saturday, half of my decisions will be right and half will be wrong on this basis alone and this is a big tactical disadvantage and these guys are pretty fast so there's not much room for error.  Realizing and knowing this unequivocally is a strength for me but realistically speaking it's going to be quite difficult any way you slice it.  A top 25 finish in this race will be tougher to do than winning a Pro1,2,3 race.  It'll be that hard, so I'm excited about the opportunity.  I'm shooting for top 15.  The other Pro1 race I did this year was the Tour of Somerville in NJ and I finished 22 after I came out of my pedal in the last turn.  I lost some places in that mishap so I think top 15 on Saturday is possible.  As reference to that statement I would say that a top 20 finish for me on Saturday is a 50% possibility.

I think the essence of sport Zen is 'preparation'; mental, physical and positional.

My personal formulation for Saturday is this.  I emphatically believe that I still have it physically within me to finish top 15.  But, like any bike race, chance will play a significant role.  However, I've done the training and I have the conditioning.  The hay is in the barn...So bring it.  I also understand very clearly, the acute advantages of a having a strong team and that I do not have this.  As such, I will not compare myself to those that do.  Chance will play a significant role, there will be much outside of my control.  As the race unfolds I will stay within myself and my race mentally and I will stay within the dynamics of my race that I can control.  My odds of getting top 15 are proportional to chance, my ultimate resolve and riding with the least amount of 'positional' errors as possible.

I have a calm assertive understanding and confidence in these things and I will perform them to the best of my abilities.  If I finish past 15th, or even worse not finish at all, I have not failed.

Peace and roll strong.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Innerbike in your shop 2012

I was at ATA Cycle Pro Shop this evening after hours.  I've had an annoying creak in my headset for a while now so Husam and I were concerned that the fork on my bike was compromised.  The best and safest way to find out for sure is a process of elimination.   Basically you have to strip the cockpit of your bike down and look at everything.  It takes a while but it's the only way to know for sure.

But that's okay because I like ATA and hanging out with Husam.  He's not just the shop owner, he's also a close friend of mine.  When we first met, my intuition allowed me to trust his genre expertise of bike fitting and cycling equipment but after that we developed a mutual respect for each other.  We come to cycling from different perspectives but these places intersect distinctly and I think we both recognized this and have gravitated from there.  Similar to how we broke down the cockpit of my bike this evening, our relationship was a process of elimination, after breaking things down we found genuine friendship.  We don't agree on everything, not even close, but our Intent is in the same place and that's what friendship is all about.

So anyway while we were poking and prodding the MC2 Husam mentioned that one of the guys from the shop is headed to Innterbike in Las Vagas this week.  Innerbike is self described as, and is, 'the premier cycling trade event in North America with more than 750 companies representing more than 1,200 brands - a one stop opportunity to connect with the entire industry, discover emerging trends and learn new business ideas. You go there and pick your passion and find your people. From Road, to BMX, to Triathlon and beyond.'  It happens once a year in September which is a perfect time as the road season is winding down, retailers get to network and get edified of the latest and greatest.  It's pretty cool.

When Husam told me this it occurred to me that September is also a perfect time for the weekend warrior cyclist(s)-racers to also start planning and preparing for 2013, just like retailers.  Why?  Because this sport is exploding for the 40 plus crowd and I see these guys consistently behind the eight ball equipment wise...stuff needs to be lined up fella's and dialed in way in advance, otherwise you're basically testing new equipment at the same time you're trying to perform.  Its not the best way.

Riding a bike seems simple enough but having things optimized and working reliably (within budget) is another story.   And too often times all these new guys wait too long to figure out what setup they're going to ride the following year, which is a mistake because the equipment inventory gets bought out, the mechanics get busy and a whole bunch of other stuff starts working against them just as the season heats up.  The end result is a lot of frustration.

What we do and what we ultimately get from in this lifestyle is critically tied to the carbon steed between our legs, so why wait until Christmas or February to figure things out.  Get plugged in and start laying things out now.  Any bike shop with representation at Innerbike will bring back all the latest stuff (news, equip, trends, culture etc) from Innerbike which is the next best thing to being there yourself.   So visit the shop next week, after Innerbike.

Peace and roll strong!

Bonsai, Edith Tiempo


Edith Tiempo

All that I love
I fold over once
And once again
And keep in a box
Or a slit in a hollow post
Or in my shoe.

All that I love?
Why, yes, but for the moment-
And for all time, both.
Something that folds and keeps easy,
Son’s note or Dad’s one gaudy tie,
A roto picture of a queen,
A blue Indian shawl, even
A money bill.

It’s utter sublimation,
A feat, this heart’s control
Moment to moment
To scale all love down
To a cupped hand’s size
Till seashells are broken pieces
From God’s own bright teeth,
And life and love are real
Things you can run and
Breathless hand over
To the merest child.
Peace & roll strong.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Embrace the Suck

It's Friday night.  I finished work a little while ago and then set things up for a quiet, mellow, even peaceful night.  I poured a sturdy tumbler of smooth Chianti, then performed the typical solo dude stuff....turned the History Channel on (vol. off), flipped on my music of choice, recently The xx - Intro, then collapsed deep into the comfort of my man-chair with the suppleness, velocity and style of a high jumper flopping backwards into a canoe.  Perfect.  I was just about to dive headfirst into my righteous tumbler of maroon when out of almost nowhere I was jolted by the distinct rattling bursts of M-16 gun fire, cave buster mortar rounds and the overhead rhythmic chop of rotor blades chased by the swift rumbling of a large, low flying, fixed wing aircraft.

I live in Harvard MA.  Harvard is known for many things, most of these things are good because Harvard is 'that town' you see on seasonal Halmark cards during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It's beautiful here...all the time.  The fields, rivers and lakes are all amazing.  The Town Center, anchored by The General Store, with it's blended Pottery Barn-Anthropology design, and the lillie white facades of the Unitarian Church and Town Hall could not possibly look more perfectly New England.

Every nook & corner in Harvard is quaint, serine and peaceful and you feel safe here....ninety seven percent of the time.  But three percent of the time Harvard doesn't feel that way.  It doesn't feel safe, peaceful, serine or quaint at all.  And the reason for this is Fort Devens, Harvard's unique and necessary neighbor.  Fort Devens is an active US Army base providing training and facilities for all military and Dept of Defense branches.  As an active training base, Fort Devens conducts live maneuvers and exercises (war simulation/games) which I'd say take place about three percent of the time, roughly.  And it's during the 'war games' that Harvard residents are reminded, in a very physical and tactile way, that there is a great big world out there and that in many of it's places it is hostile and nasty.  To really realize this is pretty sobering, as it should be.  

And it's good, actually, to be reminded, often enough, of the worlds meanest and most lethal places because these are a meaningful reality of our planet, perhaps even the most meaningful reality.  And as much as many of us would prefer not to think about it, places like Fort Devens train and prepare our warrior boys and girls to go out into those lethal hotspots and kill bad guys and hopefully come back alive.  

I've never been in a military war so I can't speak to it from personal experience but I can tell you that every time I feel and hear the calamitous sound of war coming from Fort Devens it rattles the hell out of me for a second or two.  It's like a street fight when the first punch wakes you up to the reality of what you're facing.   I can only imagine what that experience must be like on a daily basis.  It's life and death on line 24-7 and I am blown away by the commitment, resolve and courage of the people that volunteered to face it every day.  It's amazing and humbling.

Chris Hedges, is an American Pulitzer Prize-winner journalist and war correspondent specializing in American and Middle Eastern politics and societies.  Here's what Chris said about war.

‘The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug’.  

I'm not exactly sure how to face that but I saw the movie 'The Hurt locker' and that movie felt pretty authentic to me.  I think what Chris is saying was shown in that movie.  It's really complex and there is a lot of suffering and a lot of courage and there are many other things to it as well.  All I know for sure is that Harvard is a long way from bum fuck Afghanistan but sometimes it feels really, really close.  It's uncomfortable but it's good to be mindful and to remember.  Strength and honor.  Bless our boys and girls.  

Peace and roll strong.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seasons of mind

The 2012 racing season is winding down and September is a good time to pause and reflect on this. Where to begin?  I guess it would be fair to round up this season as a unique time where ebb and flow, love, loss and release all came together transforming me as a person, a partner, rider and a writer.  I thought it probably would be.  In fact, I knew this in my bones, so back in February I stated this blog to record all of it, intent on building a vivid story to have always.

Since starting it I've written about everything from crashing like a pro, equipment reviews, race reports, personal things and random stuff like when I ragged on a tiger mom triathlete at the beach.

I like to say 'time is not linear'.  And neither is expression.  February was eight months ago but in some ways the things I've written about feel more like they occurred eight years ago.  And the strings of other things wrap around my mind as if they occurred only eight minutes ago.  And every once in a while the visceral s of certain things flood through me in less than eight seconds.  But all of them are in a tidy & good compartment in my minds perspective and I think this blog has helped me to do this. There is order to them and I can find them any time I want or need them.  They are there for me to color in my life and I'm grateful for this.


And I'm not sure what if anything it means but this blog post is my 111th entry.  I wasn't aware of that, or the fact that it was around 11pm when I started writing it last night... or that it was Sept 11th?  I mention this only because I've always had a subliminal connection w/ consecutive numbers.   I have no idea why or how?  This just happens and it's always held meaning for me.  In this case my sense tells me that the frameworks I built 2 years ago are still in place and have been there waiting for me to drive them full throttle and in order to achieve their full potential, and this will require a different season of mindset

It's kind of like the picture above.  There are two mindsets; passionate-creative and logical-analytical....and it's time for me to focus on my left brain mindset and open a new season based predominantly in practicality and the operation of things and see what unfolds.  It's is going to be a different but familiar to what I've done in the past.  So it will be a good and exciting time.

I will carry these past eight months in my shirts' pocket, very close to my heart and look at them frequently but at the same time have both hands free to build extraordinary constructs around my life.  There is a season for all things.  As incredible as these past eight months have been, and the 2yrs prior to that, I have learned so many things that make me a better and stronger person.  I'm am grateful for this and hopeful too.  But for the time being there is a new and exciting season in front of me.

Peace and roll strong.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just a slob like one of us

There was a time in my life when I was pretty religious.  I went to catholic boarding school in my early childhood.  It was really unpleasant and the whole experience left me with an ugly fear complex for a long time which I think is basically their point.  I still functioned at a pretty high level but I had a lot of hang-ups and false confidence that prevented me from taking directions in life I probably should have.  But anyway,  I remember when I heard this song for the first time.  It was right around the time my son Stephen was born and, coincidentally, at a time I was also beginning to break the grip of all that early dogma and formulating my own brighter, inclusive concepts around life, our existence here and all that kind of stuff.

I remember holding Stephen in the hospital, so hopeful...humbled, tearful that I would be a great dad and that he wouldn't grow up with same limiters that had been embedded into me, that he would be better than me in every possible way.

My hope was to love and guide him to turn his dreams into reality and build a platform and the position to be able to provide him with all the avenues toward options, options to find his own passion(s) in life and pursue them.

All of this was with desperate good intent but there was a problem. I had no real way of knowing how to do that.  The only parenting I knew how to do was through emulation. It wasn't from experiential background.  I didn't ignore what I knew, I just didn't know.  No one had ever taught it to me.  I was taught other things from priests around menacing fear based ideology like insufficient deeds, corporal punishment, exacting mean faith and eternal abandonment.  Not healthy stuff.

So while my intent and heart were completely all in and present for Stephen I wasn't (at that time) equipped to do what I genuinely wanted for him emotionally and for the relationship between he and I.  As much as it pains me to say, I didn't have the skill or the learned finesse that is necessary to have pulled that off.  And like a lot of other parent's' I messed up pretty bad on a lot of things.  But not on purpose and not for lack of going to the mat trying.

 (on the left)
A tumultuous divorce and brutal custody battle ripped bullet holes through the deep ties between us.  That was was a long time ago but it was tragic.  It didn't have to be that way but in divorce everyone is capable of being a massive dumb ass and I wasn't perfect.  I know it is cliche to say but if I knew then what I know now things would have been much different.

Some time ago Stephen told me, in so many words that he wanted space and separation from me which I totally understand.  I wish things were different, I miss seeing him horribly but it's his call.

I came across this picture taken this summer at Fenway Park (Red Sox) in Boston and was floored.  My eyes see a confident, cool, relaxed guy in a nice place having fun and that makes me effusively happy for him.  But my heart is flooded with textured imagery of teaching him to ride a bike and swim, reading Thomas the Tank Engine, putting him on the school bus, dinners together, games of charades and of course Harey Carey imitations "HEY...Does anybody want a hot dog, I DO." much there.  So much yet to do. 

Where there's life, there is hope.

Peace & roll strong

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rain no pain

It rained really hard all day today and its beginning to feel like fall here.  I love the fall and the rain and there's nothing better than both of them coming together at the same time.  Something about these two elements jive with me.  Call it bio-rhythms or whatever but things just come together, all my cylinders click in and connections happen for me.  It's fun. I dig it but most importantly I appreciate it because things definitely aren't fun or great all the time.  So claiming some ownership around my cherished chilly grey days of fall and the soaking wet rain is good for me and to me.

It's always been this way but I can't know why?  It just is.  There are so many examples of this that I couldn't begin to scratch the surface but to stay topical to jughead51 I can say that my best bike races have been in the rain, most recently this year winning the North East Rapha Gentleman's Race w/Team Upton Bass, in the pouring rain.  And going back much further its worth mentioning that my best sport was football (fall) and my best games were always in the rain.  I still have the game ball trophy after we beat University of Delaware, The Hen's, in Delaware.  It was a huge upset and we did it in a torrential down pour.  It was my last college game too which made it special and there is a epic story behind events leading right up to kick off.

My travel room-mate was this Italian kid from New Jersey named Tippie Spina.  We called him Tippie because he had a small but catching streak of grey hair on the tip of what otherwise would be a flawlessly groomed mane of dark Italian quaff.  U.Del was real close to his hometown so he invited two friends (How yooou dooin?) to stop by our hotel room the night before the game.  That sounded harmless enough to me at first but then they showed up with something like eleventy cases of beer.  'Excellent idea Tippie!  Invite the mob to our room and tell em to bring multiple cases of beer for each of us  (& team mates Donahue&Sid next door).  Outstanding decision...lets invite the Coaches!'  Not that I was complaining cuz I weren't..... But....LMFAO it was crazy?  So anyway the long and short of it is that we partied in the hotel room all night w/ Madonna & U-2 rockin away on MTV.  We never even went to bed.  If given a field sobriety test on the bus ride from the hotel room to the stadium we would all have failed smashingly!

But none of that mattered.  Once I hit rainy field I had the game of my life.  It was freezing cold and a wall of rain was cascading down into the stadium.  It was a day game but so dark out they had to put the stadium lights on.  Their fans were heckling and trash talking crap and throwing all kinds of shit at was amazingly awesome.  I was massively motivated.  I actually won NCAA defensive player of the week for that game, for a second time, but this time it was way more meaningful because there was so much emotion riding on that win. Even the coaches were weeping in the locker room.  It was a real moment & it put the UMaine Black Bears back on the map and they killed it the following yr winning the conference.  It was also special because Delaware's Head Coach, Tubby Raymond thought highly enough of my game that he actually wrote a letter of recommendation to Cincinnati for me which is saying something.  He didn't have to do that.  BTW, I'm not in any way condoning what happened the night before, I'm recording the message that fall and the rain have a positive effect on me.

During today's ride into work it was pouring down cats and dogs.  Rain like this reminds me of so many cool and amazing things like the Rapha Gentleman's Race and the Delaware game and many other things, more intimate and personal that are a rich, colorful and an elegant tapestry wrapped all around my life.  They are gifts and I appreciate every one of them.

The road leading out of Harvard this morning was washed crystal clean from the downpour, it looked like shiny black ice, as if a Zamboni had just made a pass.  If it hadn't been so completely clean I doubt I would have noticed how neatly the Mavic logo on my rain gear matched the dbl yellow line on the road.  I would have been too distracted with debris along my way.  But it was that clear and I was able to notice it.  So as the rain let up I moved deliberately to the center line and snapped this nice little picture.  Sometimes it's the esthetic in small things that urge the voice inside to affirm 'fall is here, good things abound always, think of all these things when it rains'.

Peace and roll strong.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Various & sundry

The John Hancock is Boston's highest building. I just heard some guy just set the world record for grape catching (in his mouth/788 feet). That's an awesome and totally ballsy record to have.  There's serious injury risk in it.  Humorous sorta but not for nothing those grapes are probably coming at ya around 120 mph. No Joke!  Think about it.  It's an 'OMG, What the,,,,Really?" record.  Danger aside,  how's it even possible to see a grape from 788 feet..?...& who thinks of going for a record like that?  Awesome stuff.  I want to meet this guy.  The Hancock has whole new meaning to me.  There's no way I can ever again look at it in the same way.  Lol.

Love this semi-acoustic version...

Cycling update;
Ride Labor day morning w/Gilles Lalonde, NE rep TIME, Corima & Craft. Here having coffee w/his wife Lissa & labradoddle, Clara. Great stories from his side of things. Chkout the Condor Cycling Club jersey (London). Thanks RAPHA & Charlie Pearch. 

All 'round...Cool things in the works & on the front...

Peace and roll strong.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Carpe Diam

I could barely get up this morning.  With so much on my mind I was unable to sleep last night.  This happens once in a while but I don't think it's a bad thing.  The peace and silent dark help me to center and align my thoughts clearly without distraction.  The way I look at it there are meaningful decisions and amazing opportunities ahead and I need the pause in order to reconsider my direction and affirm my choices.

The prominent thought in my mind last night was something a friend told me a long, long time ago. 'Stay in the box' she said 'and only worry about what you can control.'  I've chewed on this for a long time because while I am many things, no one would ever accuse me of being an 'in the box' guy.  So her statement is a big pill to swallow, especially for people driven by intent, considerable individuality and passion.

But after a while the essence of these words began to actualize into a framework I could accept into my own personal life.  And it's this.  It isn't so much about forcing your effort into things to control them and have less pain; which is a tendency,  it's about letting go of things you have absolutely no control over and then channeling this energy into a forward life toward opportunities and possibilities.

Put another way, what we accomplish in this vapid life is greatly determined by one's ability to release cold attachments that have little and give less but want your strength.  They aren't worth the cost, the effort or the pain to try to contain and they will keep you from joy.  Life is a teacher of such things but only to those willing and strong enough to pay the price. And that's the catch.

And there is a catch.

You see, there are things waiting beyond cruel attachments but you must walk alone through the Fire of chance.  Yes, you'll never have any of it unless you're willing take that risk and survive.  It is what it is....and that "is"  is courage.  And it must be this way, for how else but through the painful flames of temperament could your mind's eye possibly be malleable enough to bend around life's mundane complexities and clutter and comprehend ownership of such lofty things.  You're kidding yourself with lies and false confidence if you think there is any other way.

Make no mistake, the spaces of genuine fulfillment, true admiration and lasting accomplishment are not found in the safety of the crowd where sycophants and schemers pat each other on the back while secretly living lives of quiet desperation.  No, these seats are reserved for a few, the true journeyers, warriors willing to be tested.  The universe deems it so and this echos within like thunder, revealing the souls' intent.  So get inspired.  It's overdue.  Show everyone how great you are.

-Peace and roll strong